It has begun. The campaign war chest opened with tv ads on the national cable networks in 80 media markets in 18 states that Team Bush feels are "electoral battlegrounds." And as has been true of them since 9/11, they use blatantly, with their continued disrespect for the families of the 3,000 that died - in an open, and arrogant, politicalization of the memory of that event. . . The thing that got me, and many others, if you dig a little into the news, is how flagrant the exploitation is in the ads.
When confronted with this - Their response is the expected, and usual, corporate-101-speak of misunderstood innocent denial. . . "With all due respect, I just completely disagree [with the families], and I believe the vast majority of the American people will as well," Karen Hughes, a Bush campaign adviser said on CBS' "The Early Show."
"I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on doomed American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."
Mindy Kleinberg, another relative, said the image of remains being removed from the rubble was particularly offensive. "How heinous is that? That's somebody's loved one," she said.
[ The above quotes are from the article Bush Exploiting 9/11 by Bill Berkowitz, AlterNet, 3/4/04 -Article Link Here - ]
It Has Begun - As It Continues. . .
Keep things in perspective with all the bullshit that is going to be coming at you for the next eight months. . . The corporate politicians are going to use every corporate-speak-101 twist, half-truth, lie, propaganda they have at their disposal - and they do have a lot at their disposal - a huge record amount of special-corporate-funded-interest-money - to divert all of us from what is important to know to be able to vote knowledgeably.
So. . . With that in mind I present the following articles. . .
It's The Judges, Stupid!
Susan Jacoby - TomPaine.com - March 3, 2004
The intellectual, legal and political composition of the federal judiciary is the most important issue at stake in the 2004 presidential election, because the next president will have the power to create many new judges in his own image and thus place his stamp on every aspect of public policy for the next three decades.
Any doubt about the crucial nature of the stakes should have been erased by last week's 7-2 Supreme Court decision Locke v. Davey. The court rejected an absurd and radical assault on separation of church and state by refusing to require the state of Washington to pay for the college training of ministers. The Bush administration had filed an amicus curiae brief arguing that Washington should be forced to extend its college scholarship program to ministers-in-training.
Full Article Link
"The religious right stood American history on its head Tuesday when, in unusually heated oral argument before the Supreme Court, its representatives endorsed taxpayer financing of religious training for clergy of all faiths. . .
E-Voting - A Deafening Silence
by Brian D. Barry - CommonDreams.org - March 4, 2004
I've always wondered what sound Democracy would make if it died.
Last night, I found out in Santa Clara, California. The sound it makes is a deafening silence, and it sent chills up and down my spine. This sound scared me more than anything I've ever heard in my life.
Last night, I experienced the illusion of casting my vote on a state of the art touch screen "DRE" (direct recording electronic) computer voting system. The poll workers were helpful and showed me how to vote. However, when I asked them a detailed question such as, who is the vendor that makes these voting machines, all I got was a blank stare. Do you have any information on these machines? No answer. I had to examine the machines myself to find out who made them. I didn't know that my most basic question was going to be a rhetorical one.
Full Article Link
"One company now can do it all. They have the Holy Grail. I was impressed but also horrified by this display of power, because unfortunately, that also means we no longer live in a democracy."
"Saying their Democratic opponent John Kerry also receives funds from "special interests" is like saying. . . American CEOs earn money just like their workers do."
"the canard of "retraining." I've been listening to that stuff since NAFTA was first proposed: there's no problem, the workers will just be retrained!
Well, I don't know how many former factory workers were retrained for information age jobs like working in call centers (though the number of workers certified for retraining programs by the Labor Dept. is apparently a fraction of the number of manufacturing jobs which have gone overseas), but even if that really did happen, the joke's kind of on those retrained workers, now that the call centers and other information processing jobs are being outsourced as well. [Link]
This is political humor that is a bit "over the edge", but it makes a point.
If you find it offensive, then. . .
"With all due respect, I just completely disagree, and I believe the vast
majority of the American people will as well."
Why Is Washington Going Easy On Pakistan's Nuclear Black Marketers?
by Seymour M. Hersh - The New Yorker - March 1, 2004
On February 4th, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is revered in Pakistan as the father of the country's nuclear bomb, appeared on a state-run television network in Islamabad and confessed that he had been solely responsible for operating an international black market in nuclear-weapons materials.
Full Article Link
The most dangerous country for the United States now is Pakistan, and second is Iran." Gallucci went on, "We haven't been this vulnerable since the British burned Washington in 1814."
The Damage Done - A Photo Essay
Mother Jones Magazine - March/April 2004 Issue
Full Photo Essay Link
"If it costs 500, that's OK, or 5000, OK, or 50,000, that's OK with me."
-- Retired Gen. Tommy Franks
[ ...on the loss of American service members in Iraq...]
Check It Out Link Here